Banbury man runs 50k to boost funds for a family whose son has a rare bone cancer

Banbury man Rob Duffy ran well over a marathon in circuits of Banbury Rugby Club on Sunday to raise money for a charity researching a rare bone cancer.

Rob Duffy is pictured, tired but happy, at the end of the run with Freddie, friends and families
Rob Duffy is pictured, tired but happy, at the end of the run with Freddie, friends and families

By today (Monday) Mr Duffy had raised £1,835 - almost double his original target - to boost Freddie's Future, a fund set up by the family of Freddie Croft, seven, who has a very rare form of bone cancer, Ewing's Sarcoma. His contribution will take the Croft family's fund up towards £50,000.

Freddie's mum, Nicole Croft, said: "He’s done it. Rob the absolute champion has completed 50k in a day.

"Seeing Rob run across the finish line with Freddie and his brother Albert for the last stretch had a few of us dabbing our eyes. I was one of them.

Rob Duffy is joined on the last lap of the fun by Freddie Croft and his younger brother Albert

"For Freddie to have been through all that he has and for us to be running this charity, with people doing all these things for our Freddie, still blows my mind and seeing these two things together - a very healthy and happy Freddie with a very determined and incredible Freddie fan - was just fantastic.

"Rob Duffy thank you is just not powerful enough; there are no words. You’re amazing and we are all so proud of what you’ve done. Also a huge thanks to everyone who joined Rob for some of the run and for those cheering him on from the sidelines."

Mrs Croft, who lives in Bodicote with husband William, Freddie and his brothers Albert, four, and Stanley, two, said the last few laps of the run were tough going for Mr Duffy, who ran 50 kilometres in laps around the Banbury Rugby Club. A marathon is 42.12 kilometres.

"He did the marathon length without looking as though he was out of breath," she said. "As each lap went on it got harder because of a swelling knee. It was obviously hard but he did it in 5.5 hours. That would have been intense if it was a marathon but this was so much further. He's amazing.

"It's a big resting day for him today. His wife Laura's looking after him, waiting on him hand and foot and she's ten days from due to have their first baby. She has been running the JustGiving page and upped the target to £1,500 from £1,000. We wondered if he would get there but he's hit it and gone way past. We can't thank him enough."

As the Banbury Guardian has described - see here - young Freddie spent a total of eight months in hospital last year having treatment while his Mum and Dad took turns to be with him and to care for their two younger children at home in Bodicote.

If anyone would like to make a last minute donation Rob Duffy's fundraising link is still open here